How to Clean Your Corona Wires

Let's start with the obvious- what is a corona wire?

Chances are if you are not a printer technician, you have no idea what the answer is. This may even be the first time you have ever heard the word "corona" outside of a cold one on a hot day. However, this wire is one of the single most important parts of any laser printer, and it doesn't require a lime.

Though laser printers generally have the same components, the interior functionality and design have small differences that are unique to each manufacturer. These make it challenging to generalize cleaning techniques and give "how-to" instructions.

As you may assume from the terminology, laser printers are known as such because the images and text that is to be printed is written with lasers. The imaging drums sits in the middle of the machine, flanked by rollers, corona wires, a fuser and a toner cartridge, unless it is a Brother unit, then the Brother toner cartridge is within the drum assembly.

When data is transferred, the laser writes the image onto the drum. The corona wire receives a blast of high voltage, which it then transfers to the written image on the drum in the form of static electricity. This negative charge attracts the positively-charged toner. The corona wire then gives an even stronger negative charge to the paper so it can pull the toner from the imaging drum.

Corona wires take a beating and collect a lot of dirt and excess toner. They should be cleaned every time cartridges are replaced. If the corona wire is not cleaned, the quality of the prints will begin diminishing and faded coloring or streaks may appear on the printed page.

Brother printers:

  1. Open the front panel.
  2. Remove the drum assembly.
  3. Locate the blue tab on the assembly and gently slide it from left to right repeatedly.
  4. When complete, match the arrow on the tab and the arrow on the cassette before reinserting.

Cleaning the Corona Wire

Some Xerox, HP, Etc. printers:

  1. Open the front panel.
  2. To remove the corona wire, pinch the handle of it and pull.
  3. Remove the provided cleaning tool that is inside the printer, right below where the corona wire sits.
  4. Insert the tool into the underside of the corona housing.
  5. Wipe back and forth a few times.
  6. Reinsert the cleaning tool and the wire.

Other Xerox, HP, Etc. printers:

  1. Open front panel.
  2. Remove the corona wire.
  3. Use Q-tip and alcohol to gently clean the wire.
  4. Reinsert.

Please check your manuals to identify which method of cleaning is appropriate for your machine. Make sure you are gentle, as the corona wires are quite sensitive. And if the cleaning process is unsuccessful, consider replacing the drum or the corona wire altogether.